New Booking.com Research Shares the Best Places for Canadians to Visit this Summer
With a new spark of hope at the end of our collective pandemic tunnel, Canadians can breathe a cautious, masked sigh of relief. International travel will likely remain precarious this year, though domestic travel is expected to be a welcomed, refreshing activity, given that travellers do so in a safe, masked and distanced fashion. Through 2020, 75% indicated they are more appreciative of travel and will likewise not take it for granted in the future. 44% of Canadians plan to explore a new destination within our own country, and 47% will take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of Canada - which we’re lucky to have in abundance!
Global travel leader Booking.com recently dug into their Canadian data to help inform recommendations on great places around the country to explore this summer and finally celebrate those special moments bypassed in 2020, if restrictions are lifted when the time comes. Here are Booking.com’s top five picks.
Despite its location in the frigid north-eastern Atlantic Ocean, Charlottetown, P.E.I.’s more than 24 public beaches surprise first-timers with how warm the water is. The long, spacious, shallow beaches (essentially wading pools) and sandbars warm the waters of the Northumberland Strait. Charlottetown was named one of the ‘most welcoming places in Canada’ in Booking.com’s recent Traveller Review Awards 2021. Charlotte’s Rose Inn is an elegant Victorian home built in 1884 and just two blocks from the heart of town.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, recently named the most welcoming place in Ontario in Booking.com’s Traveller Review Awards, is the relaxed, historic old town that begs you to ride your bike along the vineyards and tree-lined roads. You’ll have your pick of beaches between Nickel Beach on Lake Erie, Crystal Beach, aptly known for its crystal clear waters, Sunset Beach which opens onto Lake Ontario in St. Catharines, and more. 5-star Pillar and Post Inn & Spa has select rooms with a spa bath and a fireplace in its 19th century building, not to mention an abundance of fine vintage wines and farm-to-table fine dining direct to your room. The Inn has added extra health & safety measures to ensure guests feel safe and comfortable on their stay.
Banff, Alberta, recently named the most welcoming place in Alberta in Booking.com’s Traveller Review Awards, is located on the traditional lands of Treaty 7 Territory and shared with the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III, Banff. Hiking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, hot springs, and more, are in abundance once the warmer months hit. Taking in the Rocky Mountain views and turquoise glacial lakes of Banff National Park (Canada's oldest national park) is a meditation on life in itself. Beaujolais Boutique Bed & Breakfast is an adults-only getaway similar to a luxury arctic cottage. Pine vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, spa bath, and balcony overlooking the mountains, make up the coziest stay imaginable.
Ask anyone who’s been to the eastern island’s capital and you’ll get a rousing agreement on St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador's, placement as one of the most welcoming places in Canada. Long known for its friendly, laid back locals and rugged, historic scenery, St. John’s should be - or is already - on everyone’s bucket list. The Inn by Mallard Cottage is an 18th Century Irish-Newfoundland vernacular style cottage in Quidi Vidi, arguably the most picturesque area in town. Styled in a mix of modern and traditional Newfoundland, Mallard Cottage has a renowned on-site restaurant, serving wild game and seasonal, local ingredients.
Extending inland along both sides of the Malbaie River and north and south along the St. Lawrence River, La Malbaie, QC, named the most welcoming place in Quebec in Booking.com’s recent Traveller Review Awards, is the romantic summer getaway you didn’t know you needed. Come for summer’s hiking, cycling, and golfing, and winter’s skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling; stay for the charming culture this vacationer’s delight has in spades. Auberge Fleurs de Lune, a luxury inn in a country setting, is within walking distance of the Cap-à-l'Aigle gardens (over 850 varieties of lilac!), and next door to the church of Saint-Peter-on-the-Rock, built in 1872.
If you like the sound of these spots but would love a bit more selection to pick your summer getaway from, here are five more Booking.com-recommended Canadian summer getaways.
Collingwood, Ontario: The Georgian Bay small town with big appeal. Ziplining, hiking, natural cave tours, world class spas Scandinave Spa and Living Shore Spa, wineries, and more, just two hours from Toronto
Golden, B.C.: rated the #1 most welcoming place in British Columbia, Golden offers easy access to hiking, waterfalls, lakes, and heritage sites, and is surrounded by six national parks
Halifax, Nova Scotia: home to some of the world’s best seafood and fresh, ocean air, plus a short drive to the quaint towns of Annapolis Valley
Jasper, Alberta: largest of the Canadian Rockies national parks and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ucluelet, B.C.: picture temperate rainforest and secluded beaches alongside Vancouver Island's Wild Pacific Trail
With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, whether it’s far from home or just around the corner, Booking.com connects travellers with great travel providers and experiences anywhere you want to go.
We strongly encourage you to check out the local COVID-19 travel regulations in any destination before planning your trip.